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STATEMENT FROM
SAVE GREENWICH NEIGHBOURHOODS

Save Greenwich Neighbourhoods is appalled by Danny Thorpe and Sarah Merrill’s decision not to make the West Greenwich Low Traffic Neighbourhood permanent. The Council wrote to residents in August 2020 telling them that the area was suffering from excessive and dangerous traffic.  With over 8,500 cars flooding through this part of historic Greenwich - an area of steep, narrow streets, ill-equipped to deal with such traffic volumes - the situation could not be allowed to continue.  There have been over five years of engagement with residents.  Letters sent from the Highways department advised residents that a traffic calming scheme had to be implemented.  Three formal consultations were undertaken.  The Highways Committee of RBG voted twice - unanimously! - for this LTN to be made permanent.

Over 77.7% of people living inside the area support the scheme, as do 67% across Greenwich West ward.  In addition to local residents, more than 1000 children a day attend local schools, cyclists use the traffic-calmed streets, and over 19 million visitors come to this part of Greenwich, bringing in £1.4 billion annually to the local economy. 

RBG has done a complete U-turn, trampling on its own community safety and active travel policies. RBG has only 11% of its streets in low traffic neighbourhoods.  This compares badly with other London boroughs.  West Greenwich LTN was one of its largest.  RBG’s much-heralded Carbon Neutral Plan, to reduce traffic by 45% by 2030, rings very hollow.  Everyone will ponder the gulf between the actions and the rhetoric of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

25 February 2022

 

As surrounding neighbourhoods have received piecemeal Low Traffic Neighbourhood-style measures over  years, West Greenwich became the last  remaining pocket with minimal traffic reduction measures in its immediate vicinity. Its narrow streets were left vulnerable in the morning and especially evening peaks and also at all times during the weekend.  

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Ambulances Caught in Gridlock

Due to the narrowness of Crooms Hill, under 5 meters wide at the pinch point, even ambulances used to be caught in gridlock or, in this case, by unyielding drivers.  
Several streets in West Greenwich are equally narrow such as Dabin Crescent which is c. 3 meters wide and just steps away from a playground.

 

Evening peak build up on Hyde Vale.  This residential street was opened from 7-9am on weekdays as part of RBG's modification to the current trial LTN scheme, yet this was done without any evidence of a direct link between traffic flows impacting Maze Hill and West Greenwich.  The standing traffic remains on Maze Hill in the morning peak despite the Hyde Vale opening on sat navs, likely due to the extended timing of the traffic lights at the Trafalgar Rd junction.

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With unprecedented number of drivers taking to the roads, re-opening residential roads cannot be the solution regardless of where you live in Greenwich Borough.

This was a typical evening peak (a Friday 7:15pm) with cyclists and traffic joining the very narrow Crooms Hill from Greenwich High Street and Burney Street.


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Bus mounts narrow pavement in gridlock on Crooms Hill

 
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CAN'T GET TO OUR HOMES

 

West Grove evening peak

Time lapse over 30 minutes

Typical eastbound log jam from vehicles rat running through Maidenstone Hill or Blissett/Winforton St to avoid Blackheath Hill only to re-join at West Greenwich.

Narrow section makes it very difficult for residents returning home.  Safety issue for the many St Ursula school girls who cross this area to reach the bus stop on A2.  

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